Each day, caregivers look after and take care of our nation’s Veterans who need support. The Caregiver Support Program (CSP) recognizes their efforts and is here to support them. The mission of CSP is to promote the health and well-being of caregivers who care for those who served, focusing on improving the quality of life for caregivers.

Every VA facility has a CSP team that provides support and referrals to services for caregivers. They provide valuable information about resources to help caregivers stay informed and supported. Find a local CSP team using the locator tool.

Types of support chart

Both programs serve to identify the unique needs of each caregiver

What are the two programs?

First is the Program of General Caregiver Support Services (PGCSS).

PGCSS is the core of CSP. This clinical program empowers caregivers by offering resources that sharpen their caregiving skills and services that support their personal growth, health and well-being.

Caregivers of Veterans enrolled in VA health care have access to PGCSS resources and services, for example one-on-one coaching, group support, online workshops, self-care courses and respite care.

Caregivers enrolled in PGCSS can also participate in special CSP events held at their local VA facility and dial into national activities.

Learn more about PGCSS resources and how to enroll.

Second is the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC).

PCAFC offers enhanced clinical support to Family Caregivers of eligible Veterans who have a serious injury (including a serious illness) and require in-person personal care services, among other requirements. PCAFC provides training and support to Family Caregivers with the goal of increasing their confidence and ability to care for themselves and the Veteran.

Family Caregivers approved for PCAFC have access to all services and supports offered through PGCSS and may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly stipend.

Learn more about applying for PCAFC.

What’s the difference?

CSP offers a wide array of resources and services to caregivers across the care continuum, in both PCAFC and PGCSS. Review our program comparison guide.

While the majority of CSP services are offered under both programs, there are a few additional benefits available within PCAFC. Family Caregivers eligible for PCAFC may also have access to specific mental health resources, enhanced respite benefits, beneficiary travel and a monthly stipend.

As a reminder, all Veteran caregivers are encouraged to enroll in PGCSS in order to receive education and support, such as skills training, mobile support, one on one coaching, group support and respite.

The CSP team, available at every medical center, can connect caregivers with other caregivers with similar experiences to help reduce feelings of isolation and foster connectedness. CSP Teams can also educate caregivers about the resources available at VA and in the community.

Both programs serve to identify the unique needs of each caregiver by linking them to the services that best meet their individual needs and promote their health and well-being.

What caregivers are saying about CSP

“CSP broadened my learning scope, knowledge and understanding of expectations. I have learned better caregiving skills that help me protect my son and keep him safe and healthy. With CSP’s resources, I consider myself a professional caregiver and advocate. I can advise and mentor others. I know how to handle my stress, my emotions, and I know when and who to reach out to for help.” – CSP caregiver

“Some of the resources I am eternally grateful for are the Caregiver Support Program, the Annie Program, REACH VA, and Building Better Caregivers. We have been provided with in-person and online support, books and other audio resources. Within these programs, I was able to find the strength to heal myself to be a better caregiver for my husband and to be able to help him with learning better coping mechanisms for his own medical conditions.” – CSP caregiver

“CSP has been so helpful, and they have linked me to excellent resources and support. Additionally, caregivers helping each other and finding comfort in others through the Peer Mentor Program has been powerful for me.” – CSP caregiver

Want to stay in touch with CSP? Subscribe to the listserv here to keep up to date with CSP.

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10 Comments

  1. Lisa cleary May 13, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    My dad is a veteran he has dementia ,I want to become a caregiver in his home I am a veteran too how do I enroll in the right program?

  2. Ronald Schuchardt May 13, 2022 at 11:28 am

    I love the VA medical center. They make me feel great whenever I have appoitment . big smiles . big thank you s and fast fast service. They get right to the point with diagnosis and I’m usually feeling better within a few days after my visit. The pharmacy staff are also very courteous and knowledgeable. The VA here in Washington VAMC Walla Walla is a 5 Star outfit. Thank you , each and every one of you, that make this facility such a success, and for helping me out with my health needs, I salute you all.

  3. John May 13, 2022 at 7:44 am

    My Caregiver has not been paid in three months. All cause she charged banks the VA in its freaking wisdom/ Civilian is making her wait till they get off there *ss this is how I feel. We are 2 months paying rent have no food in the fridge or cabinet so thx VA . Also they haven’t paid me my fcking benefits that I fcking earned for over 3 years now . O yeah thx again.

  4. Shirley Hudson May 12, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    My sis was my CG. I really wish there would have been a lot more monitoring on her part. Long story short she stole 12,000, lost all my Id’s, stole my identification, last week when my Adult Protective Service Agent went into thru storage where she put all of my possessions He realized I had no furniture. A whole houseful of furniture gone. i went 6 months without a bath… in fact i had 5 baths that i can recall in 2 1/2 years. I called the VA Social Worker and said plz get me out of here they are now refusing me to see my doctor, so i was removed and now Thank God I’m in a nursing home. I went to the nursing home taking 3 steps in a walker and within 2 months im walking with a cane all over the place. Now I’m actually getting 3 meals a day and bathing 3 times a week. How did I get here?? Freak accident. A spider bit me in July 2019, causing my brain to be infected and i got encephalitis causing me to be a parapalegic and sent to my sis house which i refused cuz i knew once she got a hold of debit card it was over. I was so right. So please I am begging you treating us Veterans like this by family and caregiver’s alike is themost humilating act of all. we served our country and we should never be treated like this. Please3 look at your policy again.

  5. Anna Davies May 12, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    I love this program so much. The team at my VA is ALWAYS there to help my Veteran and me..

  6. Robert May 12, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Wounded warriors need only apply.

    All others are just old trash.

  7. Jerry Barbee May 12, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Exactly right. What a joke! I have total and permanent in line of duty disabilities with (2) 100% disabilities ratting . I am also Home bound and have had a special monthly compensation ratting of R2 for the last 14 years. I have applied once and have appealed the denial decision twice. Even though I have had 4 VA doctors make entry in to my medical notes that I require At least 50 hours a week of care from my caregivers I have been denied 3x .The reason for denial each time they say “MY DISABILITIES WILL NOT LAST MORE THAN 6 MONTHS” I now have an attorney so fed up with this unfair process!!!

    • Mellissa Gschwend May 18, 2022 at 9:34 pm

      I totally agree one big fat joke. I am 100% permanent and total. I had to fight for all my combat related injuries. The VA will send you a letter oh we dropped your rating since it has improved.
      This caregiver program oh I am sorry you qualify for this program but not this one since things will change in 6 months. Who is your mind reader and can you really heal me? My family would love it.
      Caregivers aren’t in it just for the money and other benefits. I do believe they all deserved to be paid. Enough of my Tangent

  8. James Hewitt May 12, 2022 at 5:45 pm

    Is there any help when the veteran is the caregiver for his spouse? I have been looking after my wife for over 22 years.

  9. Paul May 11, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    the caregiver program is just another VA joke. Hocus pokus so few are eligible.

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